Rehab complete, Hill returns to majors

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Rehab complete, Hill returns to majors

CHICAGO -- Less than 11 months removed from Tommy John surgery, reliever Rich Hill made it back to the big leagues Friday, promoted from Pawtucket where he had been on a rehab assignment.

"He worked so hard and stayed with the program,'' said Bobby Valentine. "He was religious with his work ethic. It's a credit to a plan that was followed and a guy that was able to follow a plan. The plan wasn't really for (him to return by) April, so that makes it a little remarkable.''

Hill credited his return to "all the work that we did this off-season and put in, everything from the lifts in the gym to the work Mike (Reinold, physical therapist) put in, our shoulder program, everything is starting to pay off. Now that it's over with, it's go time.

Hill made 11 appearances at various stops in the minor league and dominated hitters.

"It comes down to this,'' said Hill. "Every time you go out there, if you throw the ball with conviction and have the ball come out of your hand every time the way you want it too, things are going to more often than not, go your way. I've been saying that throughout the process and I believe it.''

The lefty said he thought the ball was coming out of his hand better than before the surgery last June, and that his velocity has actually improved 2 mph, too.

"It's coming out with more life,'' said Hill. "It just seems that everything is put together better. And that's mostly due to the regimen of working out this past off-season. It's not really rehabbing your elbow; it's more so that you maintain and continue to strengthen your shoulder.''

Valentine declined to get too specfic about how Hill will be used, saying only "not too early (in games), and not for too long.''

That suggests that, at least initially, Hill will be utilized mostly as a lefty specialist.

"I know I can get both righties and lefties out,'' said Hill. "Whatever the need is for this team to win and to move forward, I think everybody has to give their role and step aside from themselves. If you think, 'Hey, I'm not this,' or 'I'm not a lefty specialist,' your role is to help the team to win. That's the bottom line. That's how I feel.''

To make room for Hill, the Red Sox optioned Justin Thomas to Pawtucket.

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'capable of more' vs. lefties

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Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'capable of more' vs. lefties

CHICAGO -- Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 4-1 loss to Chicago:

 

QUOTES:

"He's rarely in the middle of the plate. He pitches to the edge very effectively. He's got a number of different looks he can give you.'' - John Farrell on White Sox starter Jose Quintana.

"We have such a heavily righthand-hitting lineup, you would think that our guys would be able to handle the off-side pitching coming at them. . . We're capable of more.'' - Farrell on the Sox 0-3 record against lefty starters.

"He's done everything that we could have asked, to get deep into games and low run situations -- and not just this year. This goes back to when he was in the rotation last year.'' - Farrell on tough-luck loser Steven Wright.

"That's what I'm working for every time.'' - Carson Smith on his scoreless inning in his Red Sox debut.

"It is what it is. Keep working and try to be ready on whatever opportunities come. That's all I can say about that.'' - Chris Young, on the infrequency of lefty starters.

"A little frustrated with the walks. I gave them the second run with the walks. When I'm out there throwing 20 pitches an inning, it's hard to get into a rhythm.'' - Steven Wright.

 

NOTES

* The Red Sox have faced three lefty starters this season and are 0-3. They've managed two runs in 23 innings and hit just .108 (8-for-74) against them.

* When the opposition scores first, the Red Sox are 5-6 this season.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to nine games with a sixth-inning single.

* Dating back to last season, Steven Wright hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in his last nine starts.

* Hanley Ramirez's homer in the fifth was his first since April 6, covering 96 at-bats.

 

STARS

1) Jose Quintana

Chicago's starter was brilliant, allowing a single run in eight innings on just four hits without issuing a walk.

2) Jose Abreu

The White Sox first baseman drove in three of the four White Sox runs with a first-inning triple and a two-run double in the eighth.

3) Steven Wright

Once again, the knuckballer got almost no run support and was stuck with the loss despite allowing just two runs in six innings.